Elba Llantin-Cruz photo

The Milford Public School district is pleased to announce the appointment of Elba Llantin-Cruz as its new Instructional Supervisor of Equity and Engagement. The position will ensure the Board of Education’s resolution on race, equity and social justice is enacted in all areas of our organization: curriculum, instruction, assessment, policies, human resources, and operations. A key focus of Milford’s work will be to ensure that all students have equity in access, experiences and outcomes. With the emphasis on race, equity, and social justice becoming a learning priority in school systems across the country and in the city of Milford, Mrs. Cruz’s extensive background and professional experience will help the Milford Public Schools position itself well in the district and beyond. The position is designed to provide collaboration with the other members of the instructional supervisor team, building administrators, teachers and students around this important work. Mrs. Cruz will begin her post in Milford on July 1st.

Mrs. Cruz comes to Milford from the Norwalk Public School district, where she served the district last year as the multilingual learner supervisor, working with multilingual teachers across the entire district. Her work involved curriculum improvements and collaborating with the humanities team to improve educational delivery to students coming from diverse family populations. She was a key player in developing a parent webinar series promoting engagement both at school and at home and included topics such as immigration law, trauma and mental health, and community services. She initiated the development of an interdisciplinary curriculum, specifically designed for beginner multilingual learners to engage in content and language literacy, using culturally relevant texts and themes. Her work centered on applying research-based strategies in language and equitable practice based on asset-based approaches.

Prior to her time in Norwalk, Mrs. Cruz spent 13 years with the Fairfield Public School district in progressively responsible roles. From 2007 to 2011, she served as a Spanish teacher at Riverfield and Tomlinson Elementary Schools, for students in grades 4-6, and assisted with developing the Spanish curriculum and hands-on projects designed to enhance student engagement. In 2011, she took on a new challenge: teaching mathematics and language arts to grade 6 students at Fairfield Woods Middle School, a position she would maintain for 2 years at the middle school level. Mrs. Cruz continued to expand her professional experience in 2013 as she moved within Fairfield Woods Middle School to another academic discipline -- grade 8 social studies. She also served as a team-leader for the 8th grade team of teachers during that time. During her time at Fairfield Woods, Mrs. Cruz also served as a supportive and skilled facilitator in the areas of school improvement, curriculum review, and student success meetings and activities. In 2019, she spent one year as a teacher of STEAM/Gifted students at McKinley and Burr Elementary schools, where she helped implement and deliver science/technology/engineering/art/mathematics lessons. While in this role, Mrs. Cruz worked to reinforce critical thinking skills, and facilitated the inquiry process with elementary students identified and enrolled in the gifted program there.

Mrs. Cruz received a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Southern Connecticut State University in 1994, followed by a Master of Arts degree in teaching in 1996 from Sacred Heart University. In December, Mrs. Cruz will complete her 6th Year Certificate of Advanced Study in SEAL (Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning) and Social Justice Leadership from Sacred Heart University.

In addition to her vast professional experience and credentials, Mrs. Cruz is a member of CAPELL, (Connecticut Administrators of Program for English Language Learners), CALAS (Connecticut Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents), and TESOL International. She also has received several awards over the years, most notably the Parents’ Choice Award for Cantando y Jugando Music CD in the Fall 2018. She has received several grants from the Parent Teacher Association chapters in her schools over the years, presenting music-based programs to their families. 

Mrs. Cruz was delighted with the news of her appointment and is looking forward to joining the MPS team. “My greatest passion is to work alongside educators and the community to improve educational practices and student engagement. I look forward to working collaboratively with the leadership teams to support all students in reaching their fullest academic and social emotional potential.”

Dr. Anna Cutaia, Superintendent of Schools, commented “I have every confidence that Mrs. Cruz will bring a passion and expert skill set to the important work of ensuring all students have equitable access to what Milford Public Schools has to offer. Together, as a school system, Board of Education and greater school community, I am confident we can honor all personal experiences and ensure we remain united in our efforts to continue to grow our school district toward our stated goals.”